After I quit the world of speaking people, writing became abruptly crucial, but also far more satisfying in many ways. For instance, I have seventeen tattoos, seven of which are word tattoos, mostly song lyrics and a couple of Chuck Palahniuk quotes. Words are really my favorite kind of art, letters arranged into words, words arranged into sentences. Thereâ€™s such beauty in writing. Itâ€™s bizarre, but I donâ€™t remember images as well as I remember words. Whenever I see something beautiful, or astonishingly disturbing, I think about how I would translate the image into writing. I end up remembering, â€œher hazel eyes are warm, yet sad, so alluring that I forget to breathe,â€ more clearly than any photograph.
Word tattoos are also quite good at making a clear statement. I find that many people who meet me for the first time, without talking to me via computer, assume that I have the intellect of a slow nine-year-old. They talk slower, or louder, or both. This was less of a problem back when I could talk, I could always just say something witty. Things are different without my voice, itâ€™s harder for people to know me. So, I started getting word tattoos, little glimpses into thoughts I canâ€™t quickly express.Â
People first notice the poppy tattooed on the top of my right hand. They donâ€™t usually get the opiate allusion, but itâ€™s showy. They ask, usually of my assistant, if itâ€™s real, if I have more. Then I show them, â€œand if you cut yourself, you will think youâ€™re happy,â€ etched from shoulder to elbow. I show them, â€œone more high to decay my nervous,â€ etched into my shin. After that, Iâ€™m not nine; a little dark, but not a child. Images are so subjective, words are far more clear.
I also like the idea that when I die, some coroner is going to look at my tattoos and think, â€œwho in the fuck was he?â€